History comes alive in World War II aircraft

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
By Molly Reuter - bio | email

Bad weather delayed their arrival, but couldn't keep them away.  A flying tribute to those who flew before them, the "Wings of Freedom Tour" landed at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport Friday. Saturday, visitors had a chance to examine war planes and army vehicles inside and out.

More than sixty years after combat World War II Bombers came to Tyler to fly again in the "Wings of Freedom Tour."

"People flew these things, and there's history behind each one of these," said WWII veteran Bob Wood, who spent almost three years on an aircraft carrier in the Atlantic.  Now,, a tour guide he explains the stories behind the steel, a service he says is critical.

"A lot of our history is going to be forgotten," said Wood.  "If you lose our museums and such as this, youngsters won't even know what World War II was fought over."  Volunteers like VietnamVveteran Ed Malanowski plan to help keep that from happening.

"I was taught many years ago that the most important thing about knowledge is giving back, and this gives me the opportunity of giving that back, the experience," says Malanowski.

Others looking for the same experience explored the planes and army vehicles seeing and touching symbols American freedom of years past.  And for one soldier, seeing the crowds, a reassuring feeling for history remembered.

"It gives you a lot of satisfaction in knowing that we're not going to be forgotten," says Wood.

Now, if you missed all the World War II history Saturday, don't worry.  The Bombers will be back out at the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum in Tyler Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and then again on Monday from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under.